A local organization is rallying support for 29 horses that were rescued from a ranch in Fairplay.
Fairplay Horses is looking for loving homes for the animals, who are on the verge of going up for auction. They are also raising money for the supplemental feed and veterinary care needed by the animals.
Thirty-four horses were seized from the ranch; 29 have survived. The herd includes mares with foals, stud colts, geldings, and yearling colts and fillies.
"About six months ago the owner died...the horses were left for five months over winter. They were left to fend for themselves--find food in the snow--and basically just neglected," one of the women involved with Fairplay Horses told 11 News.
"My heart broke open, to be witness to an immense amount of suffering and knowing what these horses have gone through for the last five months."
Authorities say the remaining horses can be rehabilitated with proper care. Fairplay Horses says the animals will need "vetting, hoof care, dental care, quality hay, and some will need supplemental feed for a few months," and "some will also require patient and competent socialization."
If the horses can't find homes, they'll wind up in a slaughter house--something the group is desperately trying to avoid. The horses will go up for auction Friday at 1 p.m. at the sale barn in Salida.
The group says people who want to help, but can't take in one of the horses, can help by making a donation.